She played the original mean girl (1976 edition) in Dazed and Confused, as the unhinged, cold-hearted Simone, whose sweet 70s hair-do and cute little uniform (‘Seniors’ jumper, shorts, knee socks) belied the fact that she was leading the freshman students through various masochistic torture rituals for the hell of it (“Now fry like bacon, you little freshman piggies. Fry!”) She’d risen to the top of the dirty, brutal school environment and reigned over the world of girls with a murderous glint in her eye. She wouldn’t give Regina George the time of day. She would breakfast on Lindsay Lohan.
I love Parker Posey for pulling this off with so much zeal AND THEN also nailing her part as the ultimate geek in Best in Show. Behold, the adult-brace wearing ‘Meg Swan’, who has taken her dog to couples’ therapy. She met her husband in Starbucks (“Not the same Starbucks, but we saw each other at different Starbucks across the street from each other”). They enjoy reading catalogues together. There is an untamed hysteria lurking not very far beneath her cool surface, which comes out to spectacular effect when her dog’s favourite toy goes missing. Parker Posey yelling is cinematic gold.
Special mention should go to Mathew McConaughey for his role in Dazed and Confused, without a doubt the pinnacle of his career. That outfit, that hair, the unashamed celebration of arrested development… and yet somehow, he gets all the girls.